The government has awarded consent for an overseas company to expand from a small glass bottle plant to an industrial scale mega factory in Otakiri in The Bay of Plenty.
2400 bottles represent the number of bottles that this plant will be capable of producing EVERY MINUTE, 24/7. That is 1.3 Billion bottles per year.
It will extract 1.1 million cubic meters of deep-aquifer water per year to fill these bottles, and the processing will discharge up to 450m3 per DAY of high-phosphorus water into a small local stream.
This plant will also generate an Olympic-sized swimming pool of compressed plastic waste from the reject bottles alone per year.
Existing truck movements will increase from under 10 per day, to over 200 truck trips per day from Whakatane to the Port of Tauranga.
That’s one every 3 minutes for the hours they operate, putting even more strain on existing congested road networks.
The overseas company does have certain improvements they need to make to meet the consent requirements.
HOWEVER, the ongoing maintenance of these roads is at rate and taxpayer expense while operational profits go offshore.
Bottles filled per minute
Additional truck trips between whakatane and Tauranga port per day
m3 of high-phosphorus water waste discharged PER DAY
Olympic sized swimming pool of additional compressed plastic waste per year
BUT WHAT IS THE bigger piCture?
Inadequate Water Management Planning
On one hand, as a country we are figuring out how to turn the tide on single-use plastic, on the other hand, our leaders have been paving the way for international water bottling giants to set up shop alongside vulnerable communities across New Zealand.
Combined they will produce more plastic water bottles than England consumes in a year.